I have an old, beat up laptop. the screen was removed, and it can be connected to an external monitor. However, the hard drive died a long time ago, and I recently acquired a blank 80gb hardrive. I would like to boot from this hardrive and be able to see what I am doing. Is there a way to have the hard drive set up such that the computer will boot from it and connect to the external monitor so I can see what is going on? I am capable of moving files to and from the hard drive using my working laptop. As far as I know, the motherboard, processor, etc. from the beat up laptop still work, and it was purchased back in 2012, so it's old but mostly compatible with newer tech. Is there anything I can do here, or is it kind of a lot cause?
Edit: since the problem isn't exactly clear, let me try again:
I have a laptop that I use regularly and has windows 7 installed. I have another laptop that I haven't used since its hard drive failed, but i just got a new hard drive that has literally nothing on it other than that it has been partitioned into two drives. I want to see if I can run Ubuntu using the old laptop. The old laptop does not have a monitor of its own but can be connected to an external monitor via vga cable. When the old laptop starts up, it does not communicate with the external monitor, so I cannot see any of the bios options. Is there a way to install ubuntu on the new hard drive so that when I plug it into the old laptops hard drive slot, ubuntu boots on the old laptop hardware, and connects the computer to the external monitor? If so, how do I do it considering I cannot actually see the bios options when I turn on the laptop? How do I do this without messing with any of my current laptop's options/drives/operating system? I do not want Ubuntu on my current laptop, just on the old one.
Edit: thanks for the help everyone, I was able to install it on the hard drive by loading it from a flash drive and installing to the hard drive via usb cable. it is mostly working now.
Edit: I should note that the wireless wasn't working and I couldn't figure out why, but then I remembered that the wireless antennae is housed in the laptop screen. I found an antennae and connected it, and now it is working properly.
Edit: also note I had to carefully drag the installation window from where the system thought there was another monitor, and when it was loaded had to change settings so that it would use the external exclusively.